Are you an experienced entrepreneur with an idea that can improve the lives of a billion people using exponential technology?
Are you passionate about bringing a moonshot innovation from idea to reality? If so, we're looking for you!
About Global Impact Challenges
Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are annual competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges are an open call to entrepreneurs, leaders, scientists, and engineers with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years. The winner of each challenge receives a full sponsorship to attend our transformational Global Solutions Program held on the SU campus at NASA Ames Research Center.
Applicants must meet the following eligibility requirements*:
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must be fluent in spoken and written English
- Must be able to attend the entire Global Solutions Program
New for 2017
This year, the GSP has an overarching theme: climate change. We selected the climate change theme because it has consequences for every industry, geographic region, and way of life. Even if you don’t consider yourself a climate change authority or innovator, your skill set can probably help mitigate the effects of climate change. If you’re already passionate about impact or working in the impact space, you can create a moonshot innovation to address this urgent global problem.
We will not require participants to innovate in the climate change space, and welcome people from all disciplines to apply, but this theme will inform the program curriculum. We are looking for applicants from ANY technology or science discipline because we know a challenge as huge as climate change can only be solved within the convergence of multiple disciplines and exponential technologies.
We encourage people from all professional backgrounds to apply, but we will be really thrilled to find you if:
- You’re an accomplished entrepreneur, technologist, scientist, or change agent with expertise in your chosen field(s)
- You have a background in or a passion for addressing climate change or are working to address any of the direct or indirect effects of climate change, such as governance, security, sustainable water supplies, and alternative food or energy sources
- You’re already considering how to leverage exponential technologies to create positive impact in the world
- You’re committed to the long-term journey of launching an impact-focused startup
* For specific eligibility requirements, see individual challenge pages. All applicants to any GIC (whether related to climate change or not) will be considered, regardless of the overall climate change theme for GSP.
“Through the experience, knowledge and network acquired at GSP, I expect to push the project much further.”
— Pablo Orduña
2016 GIC Winner
“Singularity University is a place that makes you discover your passions and empower you to change the world.”
— Mariana Vasconcelos
Brazil, 2015 GIC Winner
Here are some of the challenges we've held in the past.
Become a GIC Sponsor
Sponsoring a GIC signals to the world that your organization is committed to finding innovative solutions to humanity's most urgent problems and to investing in talented change agents who are working tirelessly to bring these innovations to life in every corner of the world.
Sign Up for Updates
You'll be the first one to know about new challenges as they're added.
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the most commonly asked questions
Global Impact Challenges (GICs) are annual incentive competitions held in partnership with sponsor organizations worldwide and organized by geography and theme. These challenges are an open call to entrepreneurs, technologists and scientists with the most innovative ideas for moonshot innovations and startups that can positively impact a billion people in 10 years. The winner of each challenge receives a full sponsorship to attend our transformational Global Solutions Program.
You’re an ideal candidate if you:
- Are an experienced entrepreneur who has already turned over at least one successful company, and are ready to do it again in the impact space
- Are a technical or problem space expert who is eager to build a company alongside a seasoned entrepreneur
- Are an accomplished technologist, scientist, or change agent and are recognized as a thought leader in your chosen field(s)
- Have a background in or a passion for addressing climate change
- Have an innovative solution to an urgent global challenge—ideally, but not limited to, climate change—that leverages exponential technologies and can positively impact a billion people within 10 years
- Are prepared to commit to launching a startup around your innovation and remaining attached to that venture, wherever the journey may lead post-GSP, based on your GSP team project
For information on open challenges, you can sign up to receive updates on new GICs as they’re announced
The schedule varies from one challenge to another. For more information, please consult the individual challenge listings above.
- Must be at least 21 years of age
- Must speak fluent English
- Must be able to attend the entire Global Solutions Program (see GSP overview for program dates)
For specific eligibility requirements, see the individual challenge pages.
The selection process has two to three phases, depending on the challenge. The first phase involves a review of all applications to determine 5-10 finalists, and the second phase involves final judging to select the winner—this is either done remotely via video call, or at a pitch event.
- Degree of solution's relevance to the theme of the challenge
- Feasibility, viability and coherence of implementing the idea
- Entrepreneurial and innovative potential, with a focus on technological novelty
- Applicant’s leadership experience, profile, potential, and achievements
Note: Selection criteria may vary from one challenge to another.
GIC winners are responsible for obtaining any necessary visas required for their attendance at GSP. Most of our non-US passport holding participants have attended on a ESTA waiver program, tourist visa, or a B-1 or B-2 business visa. Despite having “University” in its name, SU is not an accredited, degree-granting institution and therefore does not sponsor student visas. SU will provide a letter clarifying that the winner is invited to attend GSP, which the winner may use in support of a visa application at his or her home country’s US Embassy or Consulate.
In all cases where a winner cannot attend GSP, the winner forfeits his or her GSP seat to the GIC first runner-up and would have to then reapply for admission in a future year. For more information, see the Global Solutions Program overview.